There isn’t a moment of hesitation when Brew Watch Co. founder and designer Jonathan Ferrer is asked to recall his finest moment of 2023. “Without a doubt it was receiving the American Watch Brand of the Year award from WatchPro,” he snaps back.
“It was an overwhelming, positive feeling. I was taken back in the most incredible way,” he grins.
It was a big moment for WatchPro as well, hosting its very first awards in New York City at the iconic Financial District Cipriani on Broadway, but for Mr Ferrer, it was an occasion when all the effort he and his team had put into building the Brew Watch brand was recognised.
“There’s an enormous amount of work involved in creating, sustaining and growing this business in ways that most will never be aware of or see.
“Receiving acknowledgment like a WatchPro Award gave me a moment to feel proud of everything we’ve done thus far and a reminder that there’s plenty more to do ahead,” he says.
When it comes to watch brands, WatchPro Awards are voted on by retailers, which makes Brew Watch’s win all the more impressive since it sells direct to consumers via its ecommerce site and events like WindUp Watch Fairs.
Retail partnerships might be part of Brew Watch’s future, but for now it is focused on a direct connection to its customers. “I like having more of a hands-on approach in order to reach customers directly rather than retailers at this time, although I have been keeping a keen eye on particular partners that I believe may be a proper fit to represent the brand,” Mr Ferrer teases.
2024 is likely to be a year when retailers are reluctant to take on marginal brands, but Brew Watch Co., now a major award winner, may appeal.
International expansion is a key objective this year, and Mr Ferrer intends to have [his own] boots on the ground in export markets. “I intend on visiting my top countries that have shown interest as well as some of my own personal favorite regions I’d like to visit and become a part of. A few of these include the United Kingdom, Dubai, Singapore, and Hong Kong,” he reveals.
Brew Watch Co. is already one of the leading micro brands in the United States and has a growing fan base around the world thanks to its signature style that combines a 1970s retro vibe with timepieces connected to the art of brewing coffee.
Its bestselling collection this year has been the Metric Retro Dial, which has specific highlighted markers to allow baristas to know the perfect timing for extracting espresso.
Future collections will build on these twin pillars. “Although, I am also interested in exploring new ideas all of the time, I am a strong advocate of consistency,” Mr Ferrer insists. “I plan on keeping a slice of nostalgia with all of my designs,” he adds. The coffee brewing connection, he believes, “has a lot of room to advance and explore in future watch designs,” he shares.
Things could get more radical, particularly if Mr Ferrer follows the path of MB&F and its founder Max Busser, who he names as an inspiration. “I’ve long been admirer. His approach to watch design and how we interpret the display of time-telling in general is fascinating. I believe he has been shaking up the industry in an exciting way and he doesn’t seem to be slowing down one bit,” he says.
Metric Retro Dial watches may be more mainstream than some of MB&F’s Horological Machines, but they have an instantly recognizable design signature built around the ritual of enjoying properly-brewed coffee.
“I believe in the daily ritual of taking coffee breaks, and I look forward to that time of peace when I can unwind and relax myself from the rush of everyday life,” Mr Ferrer shares in his online introduction to Brew Watch Co. “Our brand philosophy is simple: the break is less about the consumption of coffee and more about savoring that very moment in time,” he adds.
That “moment” is distilled into watches that use contrasting colors, finishes and details that connect to the making and enjoyment of a perfect espresso.
Metric Retro Dial watches are the embodiment of the mission. The idea came to Mr Ferrer when he discovered a category of chronographs in the 1930s that helped people make calls from a pay phone. They had special markings highlighting three minute intervals so that people would know they needed to insert another coin in the meter to continue their call.
Brew Watch Co. took the concept and applied it to making espressos, except three seconds is stretched to 25 or 35 seconds — just the right amount of time for a perfect brew.
A 1970s aesthetic is delivered in both the diminutive 36mm x 41.5mm size of the watch cases and their distinctive retro TV shape.
Prices are kept under $400 for the steel-on-steel collection by focusing on the dial-side design ahead of expensive mechanical movements. Using a VK68 Meca-Quartz chronograph movement gives the watches precision accuracy and years of life between battery changes. There are several styles in the Metric collection including the colorful Retro Dial and other seventies-inspired looks including black and gold, all-black and a predominately silver-colored reference.